Maidenhead continued their poor run of recent form as an early Halifax goal stung them at York Road this afternoon.
A fine volley from Liam McAlinden within the opening minute was enough for the visitors to claim all three points, and go top of the Vanarama National League in the process.
The Magpies on the other hand lost for the third time in succession, and will look to the two away games next week to improve their form.
Alan Devonshire made two changes from last weekend’s defeat at Barrow, as Danny Whitehall was brought in for a start. There was also a change in goal, as Chris Dunn deputised for Taye Ashby-Hammond.
Within the opening minute the Shaymen took the lead as Liam McAlinden volleyed the ball into the bottom left hand corner. The ball sat up nicely for the attacker before he was able to guide the ball into the corner from outside the penalty-area. The Englishman netted his seventh league goal of the season.
Halifax continued with the momentum on their side in the early exchanges as Cameron King cut inside from the left and fired a shot wide from distance.
A shot from Cameron King was also saved easily, as the game seemed to follow the form guide.
The visitors continued to dominate the game as King picked out Toby Sho-Silva, and he forced a strong save out of Dunn with his shot veering towards the bottom left corner.
In the opening fifteen minutes the Magpies struggled for any respite, although they did look lively themselves in wide positions. The hosts began to gain more possession on the ball but lacked any real creativity in attacking areas.
Maidenhead’s first chance fell to Danny Whitehall, but his effort flew over the bar as he got under the ball. Ryan Upward flew forward to pick him out from the right.
After a quiet patch, Danny Williams’ shot was blocked as the Shaymen looked to get a second just after the half-hour mark.
A whipped in cross from the right was also headed wide by Sho-Silva. Furthermore, a Seth Twumasi cross found Bernard Mensah in the penalty-area, but his shot deflected wide as the Magpies came close for the first time. That was the best opening Devonshire’s side had created in the first-half, and it came right at the end of it.
The final action of the half happened in the one minute of stoppage time, as a lofted shot was missed by Sho-Silva.
Ultimately the Shaymen were the better side in the first period and more than deserved their lead at the break. A strong defensive performance from Joe Ellul helped kept the score at one, as did goalkeeper Dunn, who played well in a rare start this season.
The second-half began in a similar light, as Halifax looked dangerous. But, Maidenhead managed to put together some promising attacks and fell short on two occasions.
A delivery from the left-hand touchline by Jake Cassidy looked for Whitehall’s head but fell short. Devonshire added new attacking threat to the pitch as James Akintunde was introduced in the 64th minute.
In a half of few chances Maidenhead looked indecisive when in promising situations. Into the final ten minutes, and Ryheem Sheckleford came on for a final throw of the dice.
Jeff King almost added a second, but a fantastic Dunn save kept him at bay, as he found himself in a good position from the right in the penalty-area.
At the other end, Josh Smile drove forward and fired a well struck shot on goal from distance. Johnson parried it away though with a good save.
However, attempts to get back in the game were unsuccessful. A Josh Smile cross was headed away just prior to the final whistle being blown at York Road.
The Shaymen would’ve been left delighted after Bromley’s shock home defeat to Barrow ensured that they had risen to first place in the National League table. They host Chorley in midweek as they aim to maintain their impressive recent form.
The Magpies on the other hand continued their poor run with a third defeat in succession. They’ve now only picked up two points since early September, having only won one game at home this season. Next week the club will look to bounce back with away trips to Eastleigh and Ebbsfleet. Given that they’ve looked at their best in away fixtures this season, this could be a chance for them to reclaim some of the early season form that saw them shock many in August.
MAGPIES: Dunn, Steer, Ellul, Comley, Cassidy, Mensah (sub, Akintunde, 63), Whitehall (sub, Sheckleford, 82), Twumasi, Upward, Massey, Smile
Subs not used- Ashby-Hammond, Davies, Grant,
SHAYMEN: Johnson, Duckworth, Binnom-Williams, Clarke, Nolan, C.King (sub, J.King, 77), Sho-Silva (sub, Southwell, 86), Staunton, McAlinden, Williams (sub, Allen, 63), Cooper
Subs not used- Appleyard, Maher.